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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10


Written by Cat Smith
Last updated: 01/02/2007 02:01:11 AM

Chapter 4

The Blackbird sailed over the Atlantic Ocean at the speed of sound. Rogue gazed out of the window at the calm blue water, her beautiful reflection bouncing off the glass. She wondered what Remy had done for Sinister. She wondered if he was still alive. And most of all, she wondered if he hated her. Recently she had been anything but kind to him. She had been doing her best to help Joseph start his new life, and forget his old one, while not noticing that Remy needed her help as much as Joseph did. Somehow, she hadn't seen that Remy was moping around, depressed and gloomy, hadn't noticed how quiet and withdrawn he had become. She closed her breath and sighed. If he did hate her, she couldn't blame him.

She turned as Cyclops spoke. "Okay team. We're nearly in Paris. We expect to meet opposition in the form of cloned Marauders. Do not kill them. If Sinister is not there, then we will need their help to find him. Stay as a team, splitting up will work against us. try to keep your temper." Formalities over with, him spoke in a quieter, friendlier voice. "Guys? I know this is tough for all of us. Sinister or Gambit has a connection to us all. Just try to keep your heads in there, okay?"

With a nod, Rogue turned back to the window. She watched the window as a reflection of Jean walked up to her.

"Are you okay, hon?" She asked, a hand on Rogue's shoulder.

"Ah...Ah'll be fine. Ah'm just worried. An scared..." She turned away from Jean as a tear rolled down her cheek. "Ah'm so scared he'll hate me. Or worse, he...died, hating me. What am ah gonna do, Jean?" The flame haired beauty leaned forward, and careful not to touch her skin, gave Rogue a quick hug.

"You'll have to do what we each try to do every minute of every day. Live."

Rogue gave a grim, short laugh. "Lahk on Sleepless in Seattle? Ah'm gonna keep on waking up in the mornin's, and breathin' in an' out?"

Jean smiled at her. "Yes. something like that." Jean looked away a second as her husband called out. "Are you sure you're ready for this?"

"Ready as ah'll ever be." With an encouraging smile, and a squeeze of her hand, Jean led her to her team-mates.

"Okay!" Yelled Cyclops, his voice almost lost in the roar of the engines that could be heard through the open hatch. "Storm's gone to check that the coast is clear. Then Rogue will carry Bishop down, and Jean will use her telekinesis to lower us down. The Blackbird's on autopilot. When we get down there, we..."

"Cyclops!" Came Storms voice over the comm channel. "The entrance is secure."

"Okay gang! Remember, keep your heads and stay together. Ready? Go!"

Rogue grabbed Bishop's hand, and Jean telekinetically Scott and Logan, and they silently floated down to where Storm was standing at a manhole in a dark, deserted Parisian street.

Rogue looked around. "Ah always thought Paris was louder 'n' this." The quiet was un-nerving.

"I suspect it usually is. Tonight, I fear, is a bad night." Ororo's blue eyes were wide. "The goddess is unhappy. There is an unnaturalness to the earth tonight. I fear he is here, after all."

Storm's words left the other X-Men shaken and staring at her. although the words were perhaps a touch thespian, they had a ring of truth to them that could neither be denied nor ignored.

"Sugah, ah think ya right. An' ah don't think he's the only Frollo in Paris t'night."

Cyclops shook his head, breaking the spell. "C'mon. We've got a job to do."

Logan popped up the manhole with a claw and set it aside. he had the honour of being first down. When all the X-Men were in, Rogue flew up to replace the manhole.

Wolverine glanced at Storm. "You okay, kid?" he asked, referring to her claustrophobia she had been cursed with since she had been buried beneath rubble as a child.

"I will survive, my friend. Other than that..." She gazed around. "I am afraid that this reminds me a little to much of matters closer to home."

"I know whatcha mean, darlin'. All we need is for Scalp to come round that corner an'... y' know, I hate it when I'm always right."

"Must be a real drag on those lotteries." Every X-Man gazed at the speaker.


"We do not have time for this." Commented Storm, as she unleashed a fury of lightning upon him.

"Be careful, 'Ro. cheetahs hunt in packs." Rogue's warning came a second to late as a harpoon of pure energy hit Storm. The owner grinned at them. A red-headed Inuit charged another harpoon, but before it could leave his hand, an optic beam laced into him.

"Jean?" Asked Scott. "She'll be alright in a minute. I was able to numb the brunt of the pain with my telepathy. Which also tells me these two aren't alone. There are three more up ahead."

"Can ya tell who they are?"

"No, Rogue."

"Then ah guess we'd best find out!"

"Rogue!" Yelled Jean as Rogue flew around the corner to meet Vertigo, Blockbuster and Arclight. Blockbuster was a large, strong, but slow man, but Rogue was shocked that they were so close, which gave him time to grab her leg and smash her against the wall. Rogue shrieked, and fell to the floor. Vertigo, noticing the other four X-Men, grinned maniacally and let loose with her mutant power.

"Hope you X-Chumps like rollercoaster rides because you're about to go on the biggest one of your life!"

Maybe once, Vertigo, but not today! Cried Jean telepathically, before knocking her to the floor with her telekinesis, while Bishop hit Blockbuster with everything he had. This diversion was enough for Rogue to pin a shocked Arclight's arms behind her back.

"Now sugah, ah guess the tables have turned! Where's ya master?"

Arc clenched her teeth. "Like I'm gonna tell you!" She said as she writhed in Rogue's arms. Jean walked past her calmly and elegantly.

"You don't need to. He's here, Rogue. You can let her go." Rogue did, but not before she'd head butted her into unconsciousness.

"That wasn't very clever kid," said Logan, who was helping a dazed Storm to her feet. "Ya coulda hurt yaself."

"Yah, well, ah didn't, so let's just get goin', huh?" She walked on past Jean, and didn't stop until Cyclops yelled:

"ROGUE!" She stopped and turned a little so she could see him. He walked toward her, his very stance portraying the stress he was under. Rogue immediately was sorry, but her pride kept her from voicing this. "Look, just try to keep calm!" he hissed. "C'mon, people. We haven't got all day." He led the team down the dimly lit tunnel, till they reached a pair of enormous metallic doors. With a minute glance at Ororo, she revealed a lock pick and embarked upon opening the door. within minutes, the doors swung open to reveal a hideous mass of mechanical and organic matter. The sight was gruesome, but in a way, something deep within Rogue saw it as life ; as much as she hated the man, she couldn't help but admit he was an excellent chance at life for her and all mutants - Sinister might well be the one to cure the Legacy Virus.

This was a terrible disease that attacked the X-chromosome in mutants, which had somehow seemed to have spread to regular humans.

"Well? Anyone know where we go from here?" Asked Cyclops.

With a slight turn of her head, Phoenix gasped. "Scott, I don't think we need to be going anywhere." All the X-Men turned, and reflexively, they backed up a little.

Sinister stood there, in a spotlight, in the middle of all his destructive creation. dressed in metallic material, with a stark white face, his forehead marked by a red diamond. A cape of ribbon-like spikes flowed out behind him, and added to his muscular, 7ft frame, he was indeed an awing sight to behold.

"X-Men." He said, his voice reminiscent of two pewter slabs slamming together in a deserted hall. "I knew were here as soon as you entered the country."

"So why dint ya try t' stop us, bub?"

"Because, quite simply, I am curious as to why you would come all this way to see me."

Rogue standing next to Bishop noticed his eyes narrow into slits. For a second, she wondered at telling him to control his temper, and then the choice was taken from her as he lashed out at Sinister with all the pent-up energy in his body. Sinister slammed against a nearby wall. Bishop, his hand glowing, was preparing to blast him again when Cyclops stood between them.

"Stop it, Bishop! We want his help, not to blow him into the next century!"

"Blowing him into the next century would be a help."

Bishop glared at him. "Any help he might give is not worth the damnation to our souls." Tired of his untrusting nature when her lover might be in danger, Rogue grabbed his shoulder and said, in a low voice:

"Look, Bish. Just keep it together. Y'ain't helping no-one."

Discussing this, none of them noticed Sinister's amused look. "The mighty X-Men need the help of the lowly Mister Sinister? How... implausible!"

"Look, Sinister. we ain't gonna lie t' ya. where's Remy?"

A brow raised on the stark white face. "LeBeau? Why in the world would I know his whereabouts?"

Rogue shook her head. "Ah don' know. An' that's the most irritating part o' it all. You sure ya don't know where he is?"

"I had no cause to assume he was anywhere but with you. You have misplaced him then?"

Her eyes turned to green slits. "Ah'd say we've misplaced some of him. We managed to find 5 pints or so o' his blood, but other'n that... Yeah, ah'd say we misplaced him."

Sinister looked shocked, and was for a moment speechless. Rogue glanced behind at the X-Men and wasn't at all surprised to find them looking shocked at Sinister's show of emotion. In a moment though, Sinister had regained his composture and gazed evenly at her.

"So what are you doing here? He is most assuredly dead."

"Oh really? it has been my experience that nothing is most assured in this life."

Ororo spoke up, and walked forward. "Remy is a good friend of mine, and I shall not give up hope until I see his body. We have recently discovered that you have a connection with him. we were hoping that perhaps you would help us find him."

Sinister gazed at the X-Men in his laboratory, obviously wondering if he should help the band of outcasts. Finally, he sighed. "I will do whatever I can to help you."

"Ah knew ya would, sugah!" Cried Rogue, smiling broadly. Someone behind her cleared their throat. Rogue looked at that person. It was Bishop. He was stern faced, deadly serious, and his stance indicated he was losing his patience. He wanted to fight.

"I don't suppose you'd like to enlighten us on your connection to LeBeau?" He asked in a low, tight voice.

Sinister smiled at his discomfort. "Not at all. Why would I wish to do that when it might yet come to be of some use to me?"

Bishops eyes flashed angrily, and he looked ready to pounce when Logan put a restraining hand on his shoulder. Bishop turned around in anger to see who dared to stop him. When he saw it was Wolverine, his anger diminished a little, but not much.

"What are you doing!? What are any of you doing!? This... this thing is evil. We do not need his help! For that matter, we don't need to find LeBeau. Shard and I could have lived fine without him."

Logan looked over at Rogue a second. She looked angry, but was restraining herself, but if she should lose it, Jean was standing by to hold her. His eyes then moved to Mister Sinister. He hadn't even flinched. In fact, he was stood as if he had all the time in he world, and looked quite amused by Bishop.

"Look, kid. Look at Sinister. Do you really think you could put a scratch in him? He ain't scared an' for a good reason. He's been around a century or so. He ain't about to be killed by you." Bishop glared at him. "An' as for why we need t' find LeBeau... well first o' all, look around ya. Look at Rogue, an' 'Ro. They love him. 'Sides which, he's an X-Man, and X-Men stick around for each other, got it? If Sinister wants to help, he's welcome to try."

"But don't you see the danger you're putting yourselves in?!"

"Of course they do, Bishop. Or haven't you yet noticed that the X-Men are an adventurous lot, have no fear and whatnot. And, of course... I may be a great deal of help to them and they know it. Not just with LeBeau, but with the Legacy Virus, and a great many other circumstances."

Bishop snorted in disbelief. "You can't be of any help to us. If you found the cure to the Legacy Virus, you would keep it to yourself."

"And let the mutant race of which he is so fascinated about die?" Asked Ororo. "Sinister may be a great many things, but he would not let our race become extinct."

Sinister smiled coldly. "Of course, if this cure only worked on mutants, that would be an awful shame... But enough of this. How do you think I could be of help?"

The X-Men looked at Jean and Rogue, who looked bashful. "Um, well, we don't know, really. We thought that maybe, um..."

"Ya might have some sorta tracking device on 'im or somethin'." Rogue said hopefully.

"Why, well done, Rogue! A gold star for you. I do have a tracking device which is under the skin in his temple. Suffice to say, he doesn't know about it. I am not even sure if it is still operational. Well, I think this is a perfect time to find out. This way." He walked off, spiky cloak streamed out behind him. Cyclops looked at the X-Men. He frowned. He could not let them all go into danger.

"Rogue, you come with me and follow him. The rest of you, we'll meet you in the Blackbird, topside. Keep in contact with us."

"Scott..." Said Jean nervously. Cyclops took her hands and held them to his chest.

"Jean, honey, everything's gonna be fine. Now go on." He kissed her lightly on the lips, and pushed her away from him. "We'll be back in no time!"

When he turned round, Rogue was stood there, hand on hip, looking nervous.

"So come on already, Cyclops! We ain't got all day!"

"Rogue, I'm sure Remy's fine."

Rogue looked away from him, her eyes shining with unspilled tears. "Oh, sugah, ah hope ya are raht."

The corridor that were walking down was incredible. The walls seemed to be made of piping, and it shimmered eerily in the invisible stark white light source. The floor was of overlapping silver scales, that rang out loudly when they stepped on them.

Shadows lined they walls and moved, even though there was no-one there. Cyclops looked at Rogue and said; "He's just trying to scare us. It's only for show."

"Maybe, sugah, but it sure is creepy 'round here."

They got to the end of the corridor. A large, cavernous room was placed there. In at was a massive screen, currently black and ominous. There were bottles scattered around the room containing various human body parts, and other unidentifiable objects. Rogue directed her eyes towards the screen, an almost impossible task.

Sinister was stood at the bottom of it, and was messing around with several things that looked vaguely like computer keyboards.

"Do...do ya think ya'll be able t' find 'im?" Rogue asked, her voice then muffled, where it should have carried around the cavernous room.

"It is certainly possible, but you understand that it will more than likely find him six feet underground."

Rogue stared at him slackjawed. "Way t' boost mah hopes, Essex."

"I find no reason why I should get your hopes up only to dash them. It is far more feasible to tell you the truth."

"Yes, well, it's a little something most people have called compassion." Said Cyclops, tight voiced.

"Perhaps. Though I would have thought you had realised some time ago that I am not 'most people'."

"No. Just that you're not 'people'. You're an inhuman monster who takes delight in messing with peoples lives." Scott's voice was still tight, though he hadn't raised it. Rogue could tell that this was very pressurising for him, and she felt sorry for him. Sinister however only smiled, and hit a key on the keyboard. A map of the world flashed up on the screen. It was a 3D wireframed sphere, with the countries raised.

Another minute of typing resulted in a flashed red dot. "My, my." Muttered Sinister. His hands hit a few more keys and a trail emanated from the red dot.

"Well, he has been moving. Whether that is someone moving his body, or he himself moving, I cannot say. He is currently in Montreal..."

"Thank ya! Ah'll send ya a box a chocolates. Come on, Scott!" She took to the air, but Scott called out;

"Wait a minute, Rogue." He then turned to Sinister. "Thank you for helping us. If we can ever help you in a similar way, let us know. You know where we are."

"Of course. But a word of warning; the Cajun is a lot more dangerous than you've seen him be. I would recommend caution." Cyclops stared at him a minute longer before turning and running off to the Blackbird.


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